New Podcast Episode

Episode 61: PJ and Sydney’s Brookvale Quad A Group

Episode 61: PJ and Sydney’s Brookvale Quad A Group

PJ started drinking as a teenager in his native Ireland, and to this day, he can remember the effect of that first drink he had at a pub in Dublin when he was 19 years of age. It seemed everything that was once impossible, was now possible. Alcohol helped draw him out of his terrible shyness, and he suddenly found…

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Episode 60: Secular Ontario AA Roundup

Episode 60: Secular Ontario AA Roundup

This week’s podcast features a conversation with Jack V., one of the organizers of the Secular Ontario AA Round up or SOAAR. The event will take place on September 16, 2017 at the United Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto, Ontario M5T1N1…

Episode 59: Thanks for Sharing

Episode 59: Thanks for Sharing

In this week’s podcast, Benn and I have a conversation inspired by the movie, Thanks for Sharing; a film that describes 12 Step culture through the experiences and relationships of recovering sex addicts. The movie was directed by Stuart Bloomberg who also co-wrote the screenplay with Matt Winston and features performances by Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gweneth Paltrow…

Episode 58: The 12 Step Philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous: An Interpretation by Steve K.

Episode 58: The 12 Step Philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous: An Interpretation by Steve K.

This week’s podcast features an interview with Steve K. who discusses his book The 12 Step Philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous: An Interpretation by Steve K. Inspired by Stoic philosophy and the liberal principles embedded in AA history, Steve interprets the Steps from a humanistic perspective. It’s an approach that will be welcomed by many of us who struggle…

Episode 57: Alcohol Explained

Episode 57: Alcohol Explained

This episode of AA Beyond Belief the Podcast features an interview with William Porter, author of Alcohol Explained. William lives in London, England with his wife and two young children. He is currently a lawyer and previously served with the 4th (Volunteer) Battalion of the Parachute Regiment. I found the book Alcohol Explained to be an interesting examination of alcohol…

Episode 54: The Five Keys: 12 Step Recovery Without A God, by Archer Voxx

Episode 54: The Five Keys: 12 Step Recovery Without A God, by Archer Voxx

Our podcast this week is an interesting interview I conducted with Archer Voxx, author of the book The Five Keys – Twelve Step Recovery Without A God. This short book is getting attention in the agnostic, atheist, and freethinker communities because of its fresh approach to introducing the secular newcomer to AA. The content of the book would also be eye…

Episode 53: Secular AA

Episode 53: Secular AA

In this week’s episode of AA Beyond Belief the Podcast, I speak with Courtney S., the webmaster for Secular AA, a new service organization created by the Board of Directors of ICSAA that consolidates the functions previously performed by WAAFT Central, Agnostic AA NYC, and WAAFT IAAC…

Episode 52: Dale K. Studying the Big Book from a Secular Perspective

Episode 52: Dale K. Studying the Big Book from a Secular Perspective

Hello. My name is Dale, and I’m an alcoholic. Also, I’m what many call an atheist. That label is for you. I don’t find a personal label necessary. In fact, I don’t like the term “Atheist.” It has too much negativity connected to it. I’m not anti-theist. I couldn’t care less what others…

Episode 51: Kayleigh P. and Freethinkers of Alcoholics Anonymous Ireland

Episode 51: Kayleigh P. and Freethinkers of Alcoholics Anonymous Ireland

Kayleigh P.’s drinking crept up on her seemingly out of nowhere. It was a problem long before she knew it was a problem. This is her story. As a young girl, Kayleigh was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a painful disease that for periods of time made it impossible for her to walk. But it was more than physical pain…

Episode 50: Benn B.

Episode 50: Benn B.

Telling one’s story can be daunting. While sharing at meetings, I have felt pressure to make my life sound completely awful so there could be a wonderful chance to praise AA and the steps at the end. Others times I found myself denying certain facts about my drinking out of embarrassment…

Episode 49: John S. from We Agnostics Kansas City

Episode 49: John S. from We Agnostics Kansas City

In recording this podcast, I was interviewed by my co-host, Benn B. and thanks to his excellent interviewing skills; I shared my story in perhaps more detail than ever before. This turned out to be a valuable exercise, leaving me with a renewed sense of gratitude for Alcoholics Anonymous and particularly thankful for my involvement with the agnostic, atheist…

Episode 48: Larry K. and the Settlement with Toronto Intergroup

Episode 48: Larry K. and the Settlement with Toronto Intergroup

When I first heard the story of the Toronto Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous removing the agnostic groups from the Greater Toronto Area meeting directory and preventing them from having a voice at intergroup meetings, I couldn’t help but ask myself how I would feel if I were faced with those circumstances. I would feel, in a word “rejected,” and…

Episode 47: Step 12 with Benn and John

Episode 47: Step 12 with Benn and John

It’s been a while since I’ve recorded a podcast and it’s been way too long since I’ve had a chat with Benn. Life got in the way, and I had to spend a little more time at work, getting things squared away on that front. This happens sometimes. Every so often, priorities need to change, and…

Episode 46: Len’s Story

Episode 46: Len’s Story

In this episode, I speak with Len R., from Jasper, Georgia. I first became acquainted with Len shortly before the International Secular AA Convention that was held in Austin last November. Len wrote to ask if he could help out at AA Beyond Belief by recording audio versions of the stories that have been published on the site. He told…

Episode 45: Step 11 with Benn and John

Episode 45: Step 11 with Benn and John

Alcoholics Anonymous isn’t a program, it’s a fellowship. As stated in the AA preamble, its a “fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.” It’s the Fellowship that does it. An old-timer from my former…

Episode 44: Love and Service

Episode 44: Love and Service

For the second year in a row, I had the opportunity to speak at the Paseo Group’s annual holiday Alkathon, which is a time during the Holiday’s when the group hosts AA meetings around the clock. They invite people from groups from all over the city to participate, and I spoke for our group the last two years…

Episode 43: Joe C. Talks AA Service

Episode 43: Joe C. Talks AA Service

This week, we speak with Joe C., author of Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life, a co-founder of Canada’s first agnostic AA group, Beyond Belief, and host of the podcast Rebellion Dogs Radio. Joe writes articles for various publications, presents a seminar on AA history at the Sedona Mago Retreat, and much, much more…

Episode 42: Willow

Episode 42: Willow

Willow F. got sober just before her 16th birthday, and on December 26, 2016, she will celebrate 28 years of sobriety. Her story confirms what AA experience over the past 80 years has shown— one does not necessarily need to drink for very many years to become an alcoholic. Thousands of us started young and fell fast and hard, and…

Episode 41: Bob K. on AA’s Past, Present and Future

Episode 41: Bob K. on AA’s Past, Present and Future

When they suggested he pray, Bob K. responded, “what else you got?” He wasn’t buying the God business and he wasn’t shy about letting anyone know; and though he sat through plenty of meetings with readings from the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, he says that in those early days, he wasn’t much interested in any of…

Episode 40: Richard H. from We Agnostics Calgary

Episode 40: Richard H. from We Agnostics Calgary

This week’s podcast features Richard H. from the We Agnostics group in Calgary. By the time that Richard made it to his first AA meeting, he was ready, he was done, finished. He knew he needed to stop, but he wanted to learn how to stay stopped, so he went to Alcoholics Anonymous…

Episode 39: Reflections on WAAFT IAAC

Episode 39: Reflections on WAAFT IAAC

This podcast episode was recorded shortly after returning from the We Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers International AA Convention that was held in Austin, Texas from November 11-13th. Included in the discussion is Benn B., from Lincoln, Nebraska and my co-host on AA Beyond Belief, Vic L., from New York, New York and a past board member of WAAFT…

Episode 38: Yvonne H. Mainely Agnostic

Episode 38: Yvonne H. Mainely Agnostic

In today’s podcast we meet Yvonne H. from the Mainely Agnostics Group in Portland, Maine. The group celebrated its first anniversary in June of this year, which pleased Yvonne a great deal. It was here where she learned to become comfortable with following her own path in the program, and as a result she is sober and passionate about…

Episode 37: Step 10 with Benn and John

Episode 37: Step 10 with Benn and John

It was nice to catch up with Benn and talk about Step Ten, the first of the three maintenance steps. This step calls for us to continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong, to promptly admit it. It can be done as a review at the end of the day, or as a spot check inventory during…

Episode 36: Jeb B., Freethinkers in AA Denver and the Process of Recovery

Episode 36: Jeb B., Freethinkers in AA Denver and the Process of Recovery

Jeb B. is a founding member of the Freethinkers in AA Group in Denver, Colorado. The group meets Monday nights from 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm, and Saturday morning from 9:30 am to 10:45 am. Both are open meetings and held at the Secular Hub located at 3100 Downing Street in Denver. However, you won’t…

Episode 35: Coffee with Cope

Episode 35: Coffee with Cope

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure to start my day with a cup of coffee and a chat with an AA friend, Cope C. from the Many Paths group in Urbana, Illinois. Cope does a lot of work here at AA Beyond Belief, helping with design and many of the images that we use in the articles that have…

Ed W. Talking WAAFT

Ed W. Talking WAAFT

Ed grew up in New York in a typical New York family with the typical New York dysfunction. As a teenager, he somehow avoided the rite of passage of getting drunk at keggers in the park, and it wasn’t until after he had been in college for six months that he began to experience heavy drinking. By the time…

Steps 8 and 9 with Benn and John

Steps 8 and 9 with Benn and John

There were exactly three occasions when I saw my father cry; the night he learned that his grandmother died, the night his wife (my mother) died, and the day I told him that I was an alcoholic. I was in my 20’s and living on my own, and though my father knew in a general way that I had…

Mark C: Recovery, Holy Wars and Doubling Down on Honesty and Tolerance

Mark C: Recovery, Holy Wars and Doubling Down on Honesty and Tolerance

Last week we published Mark C.’s story in which he described from his own experience, the insidious progression of alcoholism and the challenge he faced as an atheist in AA. Today, we are posting a podcast that goes into more detail with what Mark describes as a “holy war” at his home group, and how he learned to fight…

On the Road to Austin with Pat N.

On the Road to Austin with Pat N.

Pat N. will be a keynote speaker at the We Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers International AA Convention that will be held in Austin, Texas from November 11th through the 13th of this year. He was kind enough to visit with me for a podcast to share a little of his story, to talk about starting a secular AA convention in…

AA Freethinkers Secular Recovery in Japan | A Talk with Chris R.

AA Freethinkers Secular Recovery in Japan | A Talk with Chris R.

Chris grew up the son of an Anglican priest in a city in Saskatchewan originally founded as a temperance colony. When he started drinking as a teenager, there were a lot of legal restrictions with respect to alcohol—a legacy of the city’s founding. In 1985, when he went to Japan as an exchange student, he found a society…

Erica K. Fitting in with Traditional AA

Erica K. Fitting in with Traditional AA

I met Erica in March of 2015 when she came to a meeting at my home group, We Agnostics. Her confidence was shaken, her sobriety was fragile, and she was facing a life or death situation. She needed to stop drinking, and having experienced past success in AA, she felt this was her best hope. Yet, something was different this…

Roger C. Speaking at Kansas City Secular AA Celebration

Roger C. Speaking at Kansas City Secular AA Celebration

Roger C. from the We Agnostics group in Hamilton, Ontario gave a talk in Kansas City, Missouri on August 6, 2016 to commemorate the anniversaries of two secular AA groups. Freethinkers in AA celebrated their first anniversary, and We Agnostics celebrated their second anniversary…

Steps 6 and 7 with Benn and John

Steps 6 and 7 with Benn and John

A few days ago, Benn and I recorded this podcast on Steps Six and Seven. We never know where these conversations will lead, and we are often surprised at the interesting twists and turns we take as we talk about the Steps. I always learn something from Benn, and our conversations inevitably inspire me, and leave me feeling a renewed…

John C. An Atheist AA in Paris

John C. An Atheist AA in Paris

John C. grew up in Amarillo, Texas where he says, “God was good, and if you’re going to be good, you’re going to follow God, and the people who love God are the really good people”. Today, John resides in “la ville lumière”, the city of enlightenment. He’s been sober in AA for over thirty years…

Changes to the Big Book an Interview with Jerry F.

Changes to the Big Book an Interview with Jerry F.

This November at WAAFT IAAC, Jerry F. from Gilbert, Arizona will give a presentation about ongoing changes that have been made to the Big Book, and how he was able to get the General Service Conference to take up the issue with AA World Services, ultimately resulting in a revision to fourth edition. This is a story with a little…

Not Alone Anymore

Not Alone Anymore

June of 1989 was my original sobriety date. I was what is described in our literature as a classic “two-stepper.” You could have never convinced me I would ever forget that horrible bottom . . . but I did…

Step Five and Sponsorship

Step Five and Sponsorship

I was transformed by the Twelve Steps, but there wasn’t anything supernatural or magical about it. The change I experienced was the result of what I learned from the process. I simply adopted new behaviors that made it easier for me to live a sober life…

Pam W. and the Story of WAAFT IAAC

Pam W. and the Story of WAAFT IAAC

In November of 2014, we agnostics, atheists and freethinkers followed AA’s broad highway to Santa Monica, California, and Alcoholics Anonymous has not been the same since. It was there where our imaginations were stirred, and an energy and passion was created that ultimately resulted in the formation of some 125 new AA meetings. We are staying sober by widening…

Roger C. and AA Agnostica

Roger C. and AA Agnostica

After Roger’s first year in AA, he learned that his home group “Beyond Belief”, had been disenfranchised by the Greater Toronto Area Intergroup. Without warning, their group’s web page was removed from the Intergroup’s website and their meeting was removed from the local meeting a directory. A vote was taken to remove the Beyond Belief and We…

Vic L. and Secular AA

Vic L. and Secular AA

My name is Vic L. and I am definitely an alcoholic. I first went to AA on February 11, 1979 when I was 35 years old. I do not distinguish between alcohol or any other drugs (i.e. pot, cocaine, opiates) or any other “dry goods.” I speak only for myself, not for AA, nor for the WAAFT Board of…

Step Four: A Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory

Step Four: A Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory

Over the years, I’ve frequently heard in meetings that there’s a reason the steps were written in order. The implication being, that to do them correctly, one must work them sequentially, from one through twelve. I think to a certain extent this is true because the steps are based on our actual experience with recovery — and recovery is…

Mike M Sobriety and Serenity without God

Mike M Sobriety and Serenity without God

Mike started drinking early in life, and by the age of 18 he had already been to jail and treatment. He loved alcohol and he drank for the effect, but quickly lost all control of his drinking and his life. Married with children, Mike was motivated to stop drinking, but in spite of his best efforts, he could never put…

We Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers International AA Convention

We Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers International AA Convention

It was very nice to sit down and visit Dianne P., who is the Chair of the We Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers International AA Convention that will be taking place in Austin, Texas from November 11 through November 13 of this year. This is an AA convention that you don’t want to miss. If you can possibly find a…

Spiritual John

Spiritual John

When John H. attended his first A.A. meeting in 1957, he was the youngest person in the room, and the speaker that night was a man in a suit, talking about the business he lost. John’s drinking got bad fast and he was never able to put much together, let alone a business. He just couldn’t relate…

Step Three with Benn and John

Step Three with Benn and John

At first glance, this step may seem impossible for a nonbeliever. God and the capital “H” in “Him”, make it pretty clear that we will be dealing with the supernatural here. The problem of course is that we are leaving out the most important part — that we made a decision. We are making a decision in this step, a decision…

A Freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous

A Freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous

In this episode John L., the author of A Freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous joins Kevin P and myself for a conversation about John’s early experiences in A.A., and his thoughts on the fellowship today. John’s sobriety dates back to February of 1968 when he started attending AA meetings at the Perry Street Workshop where he learned to…

Steps One and Two with Benn B.

Steps One and Two with Benn B.

In this episode of AA Beyond Belief-The Podcast, we explore the first two steps in AA’s program of recovery. Benn B. from Lincoln, Nebraska joins us for an engaging conversation about these steps from a secular perspective…

Four Elements

Four Elements

Jerry V adapts the “Four Elements of Wretched Old Age” from the Opera L’incoronazione di Popea to his own recovery. The Four Elements of Drunkeness and the Four Elements of his Recovery…

Bob K on Rebellion Dogs Radio

Bob K on Rebellion Dogs Radio

This podcast was produced by Joe C from Rebellion Dogs Radio and we are honored to republish it here on this site. In this episode of Rebellion Dogs Radio, Joe interviews our friend Bob K, author of Key Players in AA History and numerous articles on AA Agnostica and AA Beyond Belief…

Roger C. – A History of Secularism in AA

Roger C. – A History of Secularism in AA

This speech delivered by Roger C. at the Widening the Gateway AA Conference earlier this month will go down as a classic. I believe this will be referenced and talked about and listened to for many decades to come. Roger a lover of history has done has found himself in the midst of it, an active participant in events that…

Talking SMART with Steve Bergier

Talking SMART with Steve Bergier

Steve Bergier, a certified SMART Recovery Facilitator in Orange County, California was kind enough to not only submit a story to AA Beyond Belief, but also to spend his Sunday morning having a conversation with me about his experience with SMART Recovery…

A Talk with Holly

A Talk with Holly

Perhaps our greatest asset for helping others is our past, our stories of recovery, and in this episode Holly D. from Orlando, Florida shares her story with us. Like many of us, Holly’s drinking and life was out of control before she could get her life off the ground. While some recount the things they lost through drinking, Holly…

Westin from Indianapolis Talks Recovery

Westin from Indianapolis Talks Recovery

In this episode we meet Westin W. from Indianapolis, who shares his experience, strength and hope as an atheist in Alcoholics Anonymous. As his drinking and life became increasingly unmanageable, Westin searched for AA on the Internet, but as a life-long atheist, he was disappointed with what he found in what seemed like large flashing letters…GOD…

Podcast Interview with Jon Stewart | Leaving AA and Staying Sober

Podcast Interview with Jon Stewart | Leaving AA and Staying Sober

Jon Stewart from Brighton, England was kind enough to join me for a conversation which I found immensely interesting, and I hope you do as well. Unlike guests from past episodes, Jon is not a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. In fact, he left AA after fourteen years in the program, and his blog Leaving AA, Staying Sober: New Perspectives on…

A Conversation with Mikey J from Our Mostly Agnostic Group of Drunks

A Conversation with Mikey J from Our Mostly Agnostic Group of Drunks

What a pleasure it was to spend a Sunday morning speaking with Mikey J. from Orlando, Florida. Mikey is a founding member of Our Mostly Agnostic Group of Drunks (OMAGOD). The group, founded by members of various fellowships, has been meeting for some three years, and reaches far beyond it’s own meeting room with an online meeting at InTheRooms…

AA Beyond Belief Podcast: A Conversation with Thomas B.

AA Beyond Belief Podcast: A Conversation with Thomas B.

In Episode Four of AA Beyond Belief-The Podcast, we will speak with Thomas B. from Seaside Oregon. We’ll talk about his experience getting sober in New York during the 1970’s, an interesting conversation he had with Bill W.’s secretary Nell Wing, and the history of the Back to Basics movement in AA. We will also get…

AA Beyond Belief Podcast: Myth of the Angry Atheist

AA Beyond Belief Podcast: Myth of the Angry Atheist

In episode three, I interview John H. from the We Agnostics AA Group in Washington DC. We talk about his story, the beginnings of the DC We Agnostics Group, his views on atheism and AA…

A Conversation with Kevin P. | Freethinkers in AA Kansas City

A Conversation with Kevin P. | Freethinkers in AA Kansas City

Many years ago, maybe twenty or more, I would occasionally attend a speaker meeting on Friday nights and at those meetings I would see Kevin P. I never got to know him, but as long as I’ve been in AA, he’s been around. We went to different groups and our paths rarely crossed. Fortunately for me that changed…

AA Beyond Belief Podcast Episode 1: Arizona WAAFT AA Conference

AA Beyond Belief Podcast Episode 1: Arizona WAAFT AA Conference

On this week’s podcast, we speak with Jerry F. from Phoenix, Arizona about the upcoming regional conference for agnostic, atheist and freethinking AA members in Arizona. The conference to be held on November 7, 2015 at the Burton Barr Central Library will feature speakers, panels, a skit and more…

AA Beyond Belief Podcast: An Introduction

AA Beyond Belief Podcast: An Introduction

In this episode we take a look back at the great work of Roger C. at AA Agnostica and talk about the future of AA Beyond Belief…

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